Work-based Learning Program for Students with Disabilities

 [br] Mission Statement

explore_01The BLaST IU 17 EXPLORE program has a misson to provide students with disabilities a variety of rich volunteer experiences to help them develop into independent, well-skilled employees.

The EXPLORE program has a continued commitment to developing long-lasting partnerships with local businesses to provide powerful experiences for our students. The EXPLORE program aims to constantly develop our program to meet the diverse needs of the students and businesses we serve.

Program Objectives

  • To assist students with disabilities in acquiring valuable employment skills
  • To develop long-standing win-win relationships with local businesses
  • To provide a variety of volunteer experiences for our students from which to learn and grow
  • To provide as much support as needed for each student’s individual needs, while always looking forward to the goal of independence.
  • To provide students with disabilities an edge in obtaining employment upon graduation.


Responsibilities and Benefits of the Work-based Learning Experience Program

Explore Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Assess student ability and interests
  • Match students with appropriate jobs
  • Provide job support to employers and students
  • Employer Responsibilities
  • Comply with Child Labor Laws
  • Set up a mentoring program
  • Contact job coach regarding student related problems/ concerns/issues
  • Notify and hold a conference with job coach, student and employer prior to dismissing a student from the position

Student Responsibilities

  • Maintain good school and work attendance
  • Follow the work schedule
  • Maintain good work ethics
  • Report off of work when unable to attend
  • Maintain appropriate dress and hygiene

Employer Benefits

  • The opportunity to help train highly motivated future employees
  • Participation in an exciting community project
  • A job coach to assist with student’s job training (when needed)
  • Trained, loyal, dedicated employees

Community Benefits

  • Citizens that will give back to the community
  • Greater return of school tax dollars
  • Increased supply of trained individuals to enter the work force

Student Benefits

  • The opportunity for on-the-job training in a local business
  • Actual work experience prior to graduation
  • Gratification for volunteering their services to help others

 [br] EXPLORE Program Team

Tim Hanner - Supervisor

Krista Wise - EXPLORE Program Coordinator

The Collaborative Effort

The duty of the job coaches is to expose the special to a variety of social and work environments and situations in order to assist them in learning basic skills. Given these opportunities the students have the chance to take part in and become productive members in their community.

Job Coaches

Barb Ruch

Robert Russell

Corinne Paulhamus

Karen Sangal

Connie Cox

Sherry Vargson